Jonathan Fitchett Tributes Only Heighten the Puzzle of His Murder

By on Tuesday, July 16, 2013

rip_jonathan_fitchettYears after the wind has swept away the last of the flowers, a patch of concrete outside a retail unit in Prescot will remain a place both hideous and sacred to hundreds.

In this spot four men punched, kicked and then abandoned 22-year-old Jonathan Fitchett. In this spot police and paramedics arrived to find him unconscious, and it was from there they took him to Whiston Hospital, where he died the next afternoon.

The murder shocked ordinary Prescotians, but the memory of what they heard will fade eventually. It will never fade for the dozens of friends and family members who left flowers, messages and personal items in memory of Jonathan.

Pictures of happier times sit in the centre of the memorial. In one, a friend’s arm clasps Jonathan tight as they and three others pose for the camera. Two are shirtless, the others in T-shirts. A lads’ holiday, maybe – one that no one in the photo will now forget.

Another shows just Jonathan, his mouth open joyfully wide, in a frame bearing the words “Baby, I love you so much.”

Others show him with his girlfriend, Rachel, one with a child in his lap. Perhaps the same boy whose offering was a stick-man drawing with the message “Goodbye.”

In one note, a family friend recalls the last time she saw Jonathan. She visited the house earlier in the week and found him asleep on a chair in the back garden. She didn’t wake him.


Personal artefacts decorate this shrine, too.

There’s a Coke can and a personalised Coke bottle, the kind you have to turn the Tesco aisle upside-down to find because they seem to have labels with every name but yours.

Three cigarettes are taped to the ground. A Liverpool scarf is wrapped around a bollard.

[Part of this article has been removed in response to a personal request.]

There are stories buried deep in these tributes that passers-by can only guess about.

And there are many passers-by. It’s early evening when I visit, and few walk past without stopping to survey the scene. Some stay longer to read messages.

Perhaps, like me, they haven’t made sense of what’s happened. They’ve read the papers and heard the contradictory rumours and thought through the possibilities to try and figure out why this well-loved young man was beaten to death in the middle of the day in a busy shopping complex.

Mourners have turned to sentiments of the kind that seem clich√© until you’re met with the sort of tragedy for which no words of your own can make sense.

“Only the good die young.”

“Heaven has gained an angel.”

“God always takes the best.”

Few of us know why this happened. The response of those who knew and loved Jonathan has only heightened the puzzle.



  1. Barbara Shelton

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I can’t get up there to leave flowers but I hope his family know they are in the hearts of thousands of Prescotians all over the world

    with love from the mother of a son that I dreaded going out each night. xx

    • Sylvia Bartsch

      Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      I know what you mean Barbara when you worry about your son going out, I felt the same way, My son is 27 years old and last year he went to St Helens with his girlfriend to celebrate his birthday. He didn’t get drunk and at the end of the night he went out to get a taxi when 4 lads jumped him and started punching, Luckily his girlfriend was aware of it and she rang me, I sent his dad out while I rang the police. I must admit the police were brilliant but the horror of knowing that your son is being attacked and is on his own is horrific

  2. Jacquie

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 11:45 am

    This is a very sensitive and fitting tribute to Jonathan Fitchett, David.

    I hope as the investigation unfolds the police will have some answers for his family and close friends. It is such a tragedy.

  3. Viv Frodsham

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    A wonderful tribute to a fellow Prescotian. My thoughts are with his family and friends. I think this has touched all of our hearts.

  4. susan bryne nee mc ewen

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    So sad about jonny my heart goes out to his family thought about them all week tears in my eyes x

  5. jean johnson

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    So sad what has happened to a jonny my thoughts are with his family and hoping they get justice x

  6. Hilary Gorman

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    R.I.P Johnathan may the Angels wrap their arms round you any guide you to your resting place x

  7. GeoffC

    Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    David – a thought provoking and very well written article. A considerate and sensitive report about an incident that has sadly taken a life and shocked the town.

  8. Amy Kelly

    Friday, July 19, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Nobody is targeted like this by multiple people for no reason. What did he do? Nobody deserves to die, but he must have provoked somebody.

    • Nick Collins

      Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 2:00 am

      Amy, are you serious?! Wow.

      Think about what you typed. The uk is littered with stories of people being beaten to death randomly, sometimes for no other reason that some guys were angry at something and picked on someone, most do not think of the consequences, certainly do not intend to kill either, many lives have been ruined, either the victim or the killers and all their families because they were stupid enough to think a few kicks to the head wouldn’t kill.

      • Paul

        Monday, August 19, 2013 at 1:51 pm

        i agree with amy he wasnt an angel, what did he do? he did something??

        • Lisa

          Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 11:49 pm

          And ur just as bad for agreeing. RAT

    • Tony minerson

      Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 1:14 am

      He argued back against 2 bullies and to keep there reputation they both attacked him

  9. pam

    Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Can’t believe Amy Kelly to say such idiotic insensitive remark. Nobody deserves what that lad went through and I’m scared that we live in a world where people are cape able of this speaking as a mother with 3 sons. My heart and mind is with family and friends of Johnathon.

  10. a mum

    Monday, August 12, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    amy I can not believe what I have just read your silly unfeeling remark johnys family are in pieces and your saying he must of done something how insensitive are you it would be appreciated if you where to keep your comments to yourself if this is how you feel a 22 yr old boy has had his LIFE taken from him and your coming out with that omg I just can not believe you wrote that I take it you do not have children or live in the real world I suggest you wake up and watch the news hunny

  11. Lisa

    Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    Amy you dog. Who are you anyway. What business is it of yours.

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